Sales Productivity: 5 Ways to Increase Your Team's Numbers
We’ve all been there––the productivity plateau. It can be a daunting hurdle to jump over for any individual, not to mention an entire team. Whether you’re looking for a way to motivate your team, increase their effectiveness on the road, or get more out of your meetings, here are a few ideas on how to identify your roadblocks, come up with a plan to tackle them, and get back on track.
How to Improve Sales Productivity
1. Utilize TechnologyHere at Breaking up with Paper,
we are firm believers that the smart use of technology increases productivity. Making sure your sales team is well equipped with up-to-date technology that eliminates the tedious aspects of their jobs (late-night data entry, phone calls to the back office for price or inventory checks, etc.) can make a world of difference. Technology can help sales teams be the sales powerhouses you hired. Investing in sales order management technology is a start. Making sure that they regularly install software and app updates on their devices is a second step. It might also be worth adding a data plan to your rep’s devices. While your order entry app should be completely functional offline, having that Internet access can still help your reps send important emails or perhaps even attend a sales meeting remotely, without having to worry about Wi-Fi. Technology keeps sales reps connected, which can increase both accountability and productivity while they’re on the road.
2. Leverage Your Top Performers
As a sales manager, it is your job to identify what makes your top performers soar, and what inhibits your bottom performers. Take time to analyze your team’s habits and methods, so you can figure out what’s working and what’s not. According to a recent study on sales productivity conducted by Miller Heiman, 89% of the world’s largest and most successful sales organizations leverage the best practices of their top performers to improve the skills of everyone else. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach; you still need to understand that each rep has their own strengths and weaknesses. The key here is identifying the methods consistent among top performers and finding a way to train your team to adopt those methods in a way that works for them.
A sales rep’s day should mainly be made up of “selling time,” communicating with customers or potential customers. Like many of us, however, reps can get caught up with administrative tasks and lose precious hours to busy work. A great way to keep your reps’ heads in the game is to create a system to help them prioritize their tasks. For example, set aside a time slot in the morning specifically for administrative tasks––checking email, booking appointments, returning phone calls, etc. Getting it done all at once saves time and keeps your reps focused on selling later. 93% of world-class sales organizations have management teams that help reps prioritize opportunities and get the executive support they need. If you notice that your team isn’t able to get administrative tasks done within the window you set aside, it may be time to hire some administrative staff to support your reps (or better yet...automate any manual processes).
4. Develop an Inbound Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest challenges sales managers and reps face is keeping their calendars filled with appointments and nailing down leads. Adopting an inbound marketing approach can help you capture new leads by using social media, content marketing, SEO optimization, or even email marketing campaigns. Depending on the needs and goals of your business, your inbound marketing approach can vary. Establishing your brand on social media, for instance, increases brand awareness and allows you to engage with your target audience to develop loyal followers, which means more productive sales leads and customers for your reps.
5. Restructure Your Meetings
It is important to get the team together to check in, or to meet with your reps one-on-one, to review what they are working on and set goals for the future. If you find that your meetings drag on, or that you’re staring at yawning faces, it’s time to revamp your meetings. Make sure you’re using that meeting time effectively, and that you have specific goals or points to clarify with the team. If half of what you have to go over isn’t relevant to the entire group, trying scaling back on larger meetings and making time to meet with reps individually. One-on-one meetings will be shorter and more productive.